the result of four year's experience in repairing railroads damaged during this war, that the most effectual plan of retarding rapid reconstruction of track is not to tear it up, as has so frequently been done by our own forces as well as by tls, boards, or any combustible material on the track at intervals and fire it, so as to heat the iron and burn off the ends of the cross-ties. The expansion of the rails by heat when spiked down in line bends them into such shapes that they cannot be straightened and used again, and they, together with the damaged ties, have all to be taken up, the road bed cleared before new ties can be laid down, thus imposing upon the construction force a large amount of labor which is saved to them when the plan of taking up the track is adopted.
The following is a summary of the work done on the Est Tennessee and Virginia Railroad:
Eighty-seven miles of track surfaced and repaired; 12 1/2 miles of track laid; 4,424 feet (linear) bridges built; 20,000 cross- ties cut and used; 57,000 feet (linear) timber hewn and used in bridges; 8 water-tanks built. A large amount of work was done in and around Chattanooga. The rolling-mill, with all necessary buildings belonging thereto, was completed, and a track with sidings laid, connecting it with the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. Additions were made to the machine-shops in the yard, and a number of new officers and buildings for quarters have been erected. About 5,000 feet of main pipe, six inches diameter, was laid to supply the shops and locomotives with water from the works on Cameron Hill, erected by Colonel Merrill's engineer regiment. These works furnished an abundance of water for about two or three weeks, and then, owing to some defect in their construction, they had to be stopped, and were not again in operation during the time we were in possession of the railroads centering at Chattanooga. Accompanying this report is map* of Chattanooga, drawn by Mr. John F. Burgin, division engineer, upon which is laid down all the track is and buildings erected by the Construction Corps at that place. I also transmit with the report a list of the buildings, the dimensions of each, amounting in all to 124, and the total amount of lumber consumed in their construction.+ Total number of buildings erected, 124; amount of lumber consumed in their erection, 3,000,000 feet B. M.; number of shingles consumed in their erection, 1,283,000. One of the most important buildings which we erected at Chattanooga is the rolling-mill. Under date of July 31 Mr. Eicholtz furnished you a statement of its cost, amounting to $290,329.51. Those sum includes the cost of labor and of materials manufactured by the Construction Corps. The machinery and transportation of same amounted to $120,000, and in my opinion this is all that the mill did actually cost the Government, for the labor expended on its was done from time to time, when the corps was not required for the more important work of rebuilding and maintaining the various lines of railway in the military division. We had to keep a force on hand sufficiently large for every emergency, for any line in use might be seriously damaged at any moment, and additional lines were continually being opened up as the general commanding required for them; but there were times when the whole force was not required for this kind of work, and then, and only then, were they employed on the rolling-mill. The mill went into operation about the last of March, and had manufactured up to July 31 2,136 tons; 421 tons issued, 1,715 tons remaining on hand July 31, 1865. The mill has not